Meet Three-Time Alumna Betsy Goulet

Dr. Betsy GouletCurrent Location: Springfield, IL
Hometown: Springfield, IL

UIS Degrees: B.A. 1983, M.A. 1992, DPA 2014

Current Position: Clinical Assistant Professor, Center for State Policy and Leadership/College of Public Affairs and Administration; Coordinator, Child Advocacy Studies Curriculum


Fighting for Child Protection & Child Welfare for Over 30 Years

In 1986 Betsy Goulet began working in the field of child sexual abuse, beginning with her first position as the victim advocate at a rape crisis center. She was the founding director of the Sangamon County Child Advocacy Center from 1989-1995 and organized the Illinois Chapter of Children’s Advocacy Centers, serving as that organization’s first president. From 1995 until June of 2002 she was the Children’s Policy Advisor to the Illinois Attorney General.

The UIS Child Protection Training Academy used its mock simulation house to help train first responders from around the country in methods to investigate and document child abuse during a training held September 19-21, 2017, on campus.

Dr. Goulet joined the UIS Public Administration Faculty full time in August 2012, following time as an adjunct instructor in 1992 and teaching in the MPA program in 2010. She started the CAST certification program in 2015, which led to the creation of a Residential Simulation Lab and the mock courtroom on campus to teach students how to better protect at-risk children and families. She went a step further by partnering with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to launch a Child Protection Training Academy at UIS, which has trained hundreds of DCFS investigators and first responders.

Dr. Goulet’s research with Dr. Ted Cross was published in a chapter entitled “What Will Happen to This Child If I Report? Outcomes of Reporting Child Maltreatment” in Mandatory Reporting Laws and the Identification of Severe Child Abuse and Neglect (2015), an international book on Mandated Reporting edited by Ben Matthews and Donald Bross. She was also instrumental in the development and advocacy for the passage of legislation to require mandated reporter training for teachers.

Betsy says some of her career highlights are:

“Founding Director of the Sangamon County Child Advocacy Center, serving as the Children’s Policy Advisor to the Illinois Attorney General and working on legislation with then State Senator Barack Obama, training nationally on child maltreatment, writing my first book chapter, and finally, achieving my dream position as faculty in the MPA program.”

Dr. Betsy Goulet
Betsy Goulet’s employee of the month party Tuesday, March 28, 2018.

In March 2018, Dr. Goulet was recognized as Employee of the Month at UIS. Her nominator said that, “Betsy is a tireless advocate in the effort to demonstrate what effective collaboration and partnership between professionals and organizations can mean for the University, the community and the State of Illinois.” When describing the work environment she creates, her nominator said, “Simply put, Betsy selflessly inspires, encourages and motivates others.”

A Chat with Betsy

Educational Memories

“The incredibly close-knit community of faculty and students when I was in the undergrad and grad programs. I started the undergrad program in 1980 and my advisor was a young faculty member named Dr. Harry Berman. Harry and I have stayed friends for nearly 34 years. This relationship took root in my undergrad and grad days at SSU/UIS and I feel fortunate to have had such a wonderful mentor and friend.”

How did UIS change or prepare you?

“In college, I struggled to find my way, moving from one major to another until I found the CFC program at SSU. The encouragement I received made it possible for me to develop a task force and start a social service program at the age of 30. My instructors were all instrumental in building my confidence and expertise in human services. This continued to be the case in the Doctoral program and I hope that I have become the same kind of instructor as a result of the wonderful relationships I experienced in my academic career.”

Favorite Movie

“Don’t laugh. It is Groundhog Day. I have always loved the idea of using every minute and every gift to the absolute highest level possible – that movie reinforces the value in living life to the fullest and taking every chance possible. A close second….Wizard of Oz. As someone who has lived in Springfield forever and collected three degrees from UIS, it is clear that ‘there’s no place like home!’”